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Have you met Jerry, the Sproutel Bear?

Jerry is an interactive smartfriend for children (3 to 7+) with chronic illnesses to learn and cope through play. The magic of a teddy to bridge industrial engineering, play and empathetic healthcare in child development.

Photo of Bianca Sandiko
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Reinventing Diabetes Education through PLAY, by taking care of Jerry the Bear
Videos and photos provided above should cover an in-depth recap of the entirety of the feats, concept, vision and values of both Sproutel and Jerry. If that has sparked any further interest or curiosities, you can have a go at the following sources:

One of many things that I value most of Sproutel's Jerry the Bear is the clever remix of the teddy bear: a universal "comfort object" amongst children (and, possibly, particularly so for the targeted age bracket, 3 to 7+ yrs).  We all (as parents or from personal experience as previously being children ourselves) relate to the significance of the "blankety" or "teddy bear" companionships within child development: the magic of these objects to ease away any kind of stress, to inspire confidence and security for a child to deal with absence, fear and separation ― the initial baby-step discovery in a child's development process to start independently nurture their psychological and emotional needs themselves.

By tech upgrades, Jerry the Bear is exactly that but tailored-fit for unmet needs in the specific context of child development and chronic illness tool/education. As a teddy, Jerry enacts as a medium that translates the complexity of managing chronic diseases in an comforting, fun and safe way for young children to engage transitioning from the limitations of feeling scared, confused and alone toward achieving empowerment through the very "play" principle of learning by doing; a playful learning object/coping mechanism that keeps them well-informed, allows them to practice their medical procedures on while comprehend a sense of ownership, empathy and understanding to manage their chronic illness.

Some things I'm left curious of: 
  • What other cultural "comfort objects" are uniquely significant to children of low-income communities that could inspire similar prototypes that utilize play to empower empathetic healthcare tools/education?  
  • It seems as if a theme of education on malnutrition and child development for both parents, children and community has been prominently discussed throughout our research, and to that, what insights could we pull from this product model to ideate rescaling solutions to be more aimed at resolving malnutrition knowledge gaps or improving parental/child/community malnutrition healthcare tools?
    • Rescaling relevancy of application: e.g., Does making it high-tech necessarily the only user-friendly solution for tools of these types? Or, can we think of other more cost-effective materials, forms, production and distribution that could make such solutions of this kind more intuitive, affordable or free for low-income communities to have viable means to continually access, or self-sustain evolving, these resources?
  • Other than the teddy bear, is there any other unique insights others feel more passionately about from this combination of industrial engineering, play and chronic illness healthcare/education in child development?


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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great share for this challenge – and we're digging your curious-led provocations. We're excited what this mint inspire for our upcoming Ideas phase – with children in low-income communities in the developing world in mind. Hope to see you there!

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